A couple weeks back it was time to put the new girls in the coop. We struggled with how to handle this because of our predator problems. As you recall, last winter the beasts broke into the run and made off with four of our girls, absolutely broke our hearts. We’ve added layers of security since then but primarily to the Coop (it’s Fort Knox now). My problem is/was that the classic way to introduce the younger ladies to the existing ladies is slow and steady with a barrier between them. I couldn’t do this, they couldn’t be in something that was less than secure while they got to know their future housemates. They needed to be in the secure coop the very first night.
After a bit of internet research I decided on what many people swore would work – I snuck them in one night after everyone fell asleep. The theory is that they wake up together and it will seem totally natural that there are three strange girls in the coop with them. Genius right? I hoped so. Essentially I relied on the fact that my girls aren’t that bright (sorry – it’s the truth!).
So how’s it going? Not too bad now. The first morning I was up at 5:00 to open the coop before everyone woke up. Everyone came out slowly and all seemed well, naturally I went up to make a cup of tea because I was praising myself on my genius. When I returned, my Bielfelder had a chunk of someones feathers in her beak which she ran around with proudly… And I’m making fun of their intellect…
So thats where were at now. They’re all ensconced in the coop and cohabittating relatively well. Egg laying is down a bit but that’s stress for ya! I probably wouldn’t recommend this method unless you’re pressed, but it does work if you have no other solution. I plan in future to build a crazily secure mini coop that I can drop in when I have little ones.
Happy weekend everyone! Hope you’re out in the garden for a bit!